Rocket Boys

Pdf fan
Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Rockets Symbol Icon

Because Rocket Boys is a memoir, there aren’t many recurring symbols in the book—it’s a straightforward, literal story, in which symbols—that is, nonliteral images—don’t have much of a place. At the same time, there is one crucial symbol in the book: the rockets themselves. In the Epilogue, Hickam makes the rockets’ symbolic weight perfectly clear: it was his own enthusiasm and ambition, he argues, along with the support of his friends, his family, his peers, and his teachers, that launched the rockets high into the sky. In this sense, the rockets can be said to symbolize Homer’s ambition, and his career path—his “ascent” to fame and glory was only possible with hard work and wild ambition. At the same time, his path to success was a collaborative effort. It took the help of his friends to complete the rocket, just as it took the entire town of Coalwood to send him to college, and later to NASA.

Rockets Quotes in Rocket Boys

The Rocket Boys quotes below all refer to the symbol of Rockets. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dell edition of Rocket Boys published in 2000.
Chapter 3 Quotes

I didn’t know what to say. I just stared at her. She sighed. “To get out of here, you’ve got to show your dad you’re smarter than he thinks. I believe you can build a rocket. He doesn’t. I want you to show him I’m right and he’s wrong. Is that too much to ask?”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Elsie Lavender Hickam (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irLorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deser

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Rocket Boys quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 4 Quotes

“You gonna build another [rocket]?” asked Tom Tickle, one of the single miners who lived in the Club House.
Tom was friendly. “Yes, sir, I am,” I said.
“Well, attaboy!” the step group chorused.
“Shee-it. All he can do is build a bomb,” Pooky said.

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Pooky Suggs (speaker), Tom Tickle (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excep

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in cul

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint o

Chapter 5 Quotes

The first rocket emitted a boil of nasty, stinking, yellowish smoke and then fell over, the glue on its fins melted. “Wonderful,” Roy Lee muttered, holding his nose. Quentin silently wrote the result down on a scrap of notebook paper. Body of knowledge.

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Roy Lee (speaker), Quentin
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis au

Chapter 6 Quotes

“Maybe one day we’ll have a trophy in here, Sonny, for our rockets.”
“Are you kidding?”
“Absolutely not. Every spring, science students present their projects for judging at the county science fair. If you win there, you go to the state and then the nationals. Big Creek’s never won anything, but I bet we could with our rockets.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Quentin (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.LoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi

Chapter 7 Quotes

“You want to thank me.” He nodded toward the box. “Make these fly. Show your dad what you and I did together.”
My father had clearly, in no uncertain terms, told me to stop building rockets. The BCMA was now an outlaw organization. I don’t know why, but that felt good. I had the urge to hug Mr. Bykovski, but resisted it. Instead, I stood straight and tall, and said firmly, and what I hoped was manfully, “Yes, sir. You can count on me.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Mr. Isaac Bykovski (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 8 Quotes

“Love to help ya, I really would,” he said, “but I don’t have enough for my roof as it is.”
I looked up. “But your roof is shingled.”
He nodded “If I had shingles, I’d use ‘em. But I don’t. I’ve got tin.”
“Emmett Jones has a bunch of shingles stacked up next to his coal box,” O’Dell said. “almost the same color.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Reverend “Little” Richard (speaker), Emmett Jones
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proi

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.LoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariat

Chapter 17 Quotes

I told him about my conversation with the machinist. “I think he’s right,”: I said. “It’ll take us forever your way.”
“And when this rocket blows up and you don’t have a clue what caused it?” Quentin asked, his face pinched. “What will you have learned then?”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Quentin (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id e

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptateLorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing

Chapter 18 Quotes

“Ike built your rockets,” Doc said resolutely, “because he wanted the best for you, the same as if you were his own son. You and all the children in Coalwood belong to all the people. It’s an unwritten law, but that’s the way everybody feels.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), “Doc” Lassiter (speaker), Mr. Isaac Bykovski
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 248
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 19 Quotes

“Sonny,” [Miss Riley] said, “a lot has happened to you, probably more than you know. But I’m telling you, if you stop working on your rockets now, you’ll regret it maybe for the rest of your life.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Miss Riley (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, su

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia

Chapter 26 Quotes

“You did really good, Dad,” I told him as a spasm of deep, oily coughs racked his body. “Nobody ever launched a better rocket than you.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 362
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Rocket Boys LitChart as a printable PDF.
Rocket boys.pdf.medium

Rockets Symbol Timeline in Rocket Boys

The timeline below shows where the symbol Rockets appears in Rocket Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Coalwood
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
The narrator, Homer Hickam, Jr., describes his “coming of age.” By learning to build rockets, he explains, he discovered his “own truths.” (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer describes his hometown of Coalwood, West Virginia. In 1957, the year Homer began building rockets, there were only 2,000 people living there. Homer’s father is Homer Hickam Sr., who works... (full context)
Chapter 2: Sputnik
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Soon after, Homer reads an article in Life Magazine about how Wernher von Braun built rockets when he was a child. Inspired, Homer decides to launch a rocket of his own.... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer gathers his friends, Sherman, O’Dell, and Roy Lee, to help him launch a rocket outside his house, near Elsie’s prized rose-garden fence. He builds the rocket using an empty... (full context)
Chapter 3: Mom
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer has just ignited his mother’s rose-garden fence in a failed attempt to launch a rocket. There is a loud “bang,” and a fire. Neighbors run out of their houses to... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Elsie asks Homer if he thinks he can build a real rocket. Homer, confused, admits that he thinks he can, with the right research. Elsie tells Homer... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...that Coalwood could ever disappear. At the same time, he’s eager to build a successful rocket and go to college. (full context)
Chapter 4: The Football Fathers
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...to school. At school, Homer tells his friends that he’s determined to build a successful rocket. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...mocks him for his girlishness and stupidity. This further encourages Homer to make a successful rocket. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...out between Homer and Pooky, but Pooky shouts insults at Homer. Pooky calls Homer a “Rocket boy”—a nickname that sticks, to the point where almost everyone in town soon calls Homer... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
...satellite called Vanguard, which blows up on the launchpad. Homer, still interested in launching a rocket of his own, decides to talk to a classmate of his named Quentin. (full context)
Chapter 5: Quentin
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
One day, Homer approaches Quentin in class, and asks him if he knows anything about rockets. Quentin smirks, and replies that he knows everything about rockets. He promises to help Homer,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Quentin tells Homer about the history of rockets: the Chinese invented them, and they were used in various 19th century wars. Noted rocket... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...Big Store, he sees John Dubonnet. John knows that Homer has plans to build another rocket, and seems proud of Homer for being ambitious and trying to leave Coalwood. John explains... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...goes to Homer’s house. Outside, by the coal furnace, they experiment with different proportions of rocket fuel. After they’ve “cooked” each batch of fuel, they test it by throwing it into... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Quentin and Homer join Roy Lee to test their new rockets. They go to the creek near Homer’s house where they know they won’t be seen.... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...gone to Dorothy’s house to study with her. Dorothy is eager to hear about Homer’s rockets. She believes him when he says he’ll work with Wernher von Braun one day, and... (full context)
Chapter 6: Mr. Bykovski
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Quentin and Homer go to the McDowell County Library in search of books about rockets, but they don’t find anything useful. At school, Quentin notices a display case, and mentions... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
For the next few weeks, Quentin and Homer research more rocket fuels. Quentin proposes using a combustible glue to make the fuel burn more evenly. Homer... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...fuel. Together, he and Homer plan to weld a nozzle to the bottom of their rocket. Homer decides to approach Mr. Isaac Bykovski about this. He is the father of Esther,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...goes to Mr. Bykovski’s house. There, he tells Bykovski that he wants help building a rocket by welding a washer to a metal tube. Bykovski suggests soldering instead of welding, and... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...becomes annoyed with Quentin because Quentin has been unable to find the right books about rocket flight. O’Dell impatiently asks to launch the rocket, and the group agrees to do so,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...steel will be better than aluminum. Over the next three weeks, Homer makes three more rockets: Auk II, III and IV. Accompanied by his friends, Sherman lights the fuse for Auk... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...III and IV immediately. He lights the fuse on Auk IV, and watches as the rocket flies toward the mine, eventually hitting Homer Sr.’s office. Homer Sr. rushes out of his... (full context)
Chapter 7: Cape Coalwood
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
After Homer’s rocket fails, Homer Sr. and Homer walk home. Homer Sr. orders Homer to stop “fooling around”... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...privately. She explains that Homer Sr. is under pressure from his bosses because of Homer’s rocket. She subtly encourages Homer not to give up, and to continue making rockets—but in a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...say these things. Before Homer leaves, Bykovski gives him four wooden nose cones for future rockets. He encourages Homer to impress his father by making a flying rocket. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer finds the thought that his father doesn’t want him making rockets exhilarating. He proposes to his friends that they test rockets in the Pine Knob area,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...the BCMA is visiting Homer’s house, Roy Lee proposes that the group focus less on rockets and more on girls. He brings out a bra he claims to have gotten from... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
In the coming weeks, the BCMA uses a simpler method for testing rocket fuels than the one Quentin developed—detonating small quantities of fuel in soda bottles. The group... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...with Homer Sr. Elsie explains that Homer needs a place where he can experiment with rockets without causing a problem. She adds that “some people”—the teachers in Coalwood—think that Homer’s experiments... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...but coal and dirt. Homer Sr. explains that Homer can use this area to test rockets—he’ll be alone for miles in all directions, and thus won’t cause any problems. Homer works... (full context)
Chapter 8: Construction of the Cape
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA goes about using its newfound tin to build a launchpad, nozzles, and rocket shafts. As they work, Elsie pays special attention to Quentin, feeding him extra food. After... (full context)
Chapter 9: Jake Mosby (Auks V-VIII)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...its experiments. O’Dell fails to find concrete—a necessity for building a stable launchpad for the rockets. As a result, Homer asks his father for help, and ends up visiting the mine... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...is at the mine, Homer sees Mr. Dubonnet, who continues to encourage him with his rockets. Homer has the idea of putting up a notice about his rocket launches at the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...With the launchpad and the blockhouse established, the BCMA concludes that it’s ready to fire rockets once again. Sherman posts a notice at the post office and Big Store. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...When the time came for them to return to Coalwood, Elsie wept. Homer prepares three rockets—Auks VI, VII, and VIII—for launching by curing them in the basement. The BCMA decides to... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...trigonometry textbook. Jake explains that the boys can use math to calculate the height their rockets attain. It’s getting late, but for the next few hours, Jake shows Homer and Sherman... (full context)
Chapter 10: Miss Riley (Auks IX-XI)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...the newspapers, and that a group of girls is eager to watch the BCMA build rockets. Homer is excited and aroused by Valentine’s flirtations. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...he finds that he’s excelling at plane geometry, in part because it’s highly relevant to rocket science. Mr. Hartsfield is the plane geometry teacher, and he seems impressed with Homer because... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...with the “Word.” Unexpectedly, he gives Homer some advice. If Homer succeeds in launching a rocket, he insists that Homer mustn’t let the prestige go to his head. Rather, Homer needs... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA develops a new method for launching rockets from a distance. O’Dell borrows a car battery from his father, and uses it to... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...their families. After leaving Van Dyke’s office, Roy Lee says that he’s finished with building rockets—it’s more trouble than it’s worth. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...and the other members of the BCMA realize that they could use these chemicals as rocket fuel. Afterwards, Miss Riley, who’s noticed Homer’s interest, asks him if he’s thought more about... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...the mixture, and finds that it yields flame, gas, and heat—the three vital ingredients for rocket propulsion. Homer Sr. notices Homer’s experiments, and, much to Homer’s surprise, compliments him for his... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Sherman proposes a dangerous tactic: melt the rock candy slightly before packing it into the rocket shaft. Homer is reluctant to do so, since this could mean blowing himself up. Eventually... (full context)
Chapter 11: Rocket Candy: Auks XII-XIII
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...and Homer is preparing to melt the rock candy to try and create an efficient rocket fuel. He has borrowed a hot plate from his mother, and is standing in an... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...to respond. Homer Sr. advises that Homer will need to learn about far more than rockets if he’s to become an engineer. He mutters that rocket scientists are “burning up” government... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
The narrative jumps ahead to the next rocket launch. At the launchpad, Basil is scribbling, and there at least fifty other spectators watching... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Machinists: Auks XIV-XV
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...football, and Homer Sr. and Elsie are constantly fighting. Homer decides to devote himself to rocket science again. Nevertheless, he can’t shake the comment Homer Sr. made about von Braun, Mr.... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...for daring to suggest this, and quickly changes the subject. He asks Homer how the rockets are coming, and Homer eagerly replies that the next one will reach 1000 feet. When... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...machine shop. After listening to Homer’s explanation of the nozzle problem, Ferro recommends a steel-tubed rocket, and a thicker, sturdier nozzle with a higher melting point. Homer tries to draw a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Ferro asks for lumber for his front porch in return for help designing Homer’s new rockets. Homer, not knowing how to obtain lumber, goes to the tipple shop, which is headed... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...tubing to Mr. Ferro’s shop. Ferro agrees to use the tubing to building the latest rocket, Auk XIV. When Quentin sees the final product, he insists that it is too heavy,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The next weekend, the BCMA has set up another rocket launch. In attendance is Mr. Dubonnet. He asks Homer about the “rounds” he’s making, just... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...week later, Mr. Ferro calls Homer to his shop, where he shows Homer a new rocket he’s built on his own for the BCMA. The rocket is longer, as Quentin has... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...Dr. von Braun. In his brief note, von Braun congratulates Homer for his success with rockets, encourages him to continue, and suggests that one day, he might find a job working... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Pillar Explosion: Auks XVI-XIX
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer spends hours at a time reading his “rocket book,” and one afternoon, he and Quentin take turns poring over its dense chapters. Quentin... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...interested in him. Homer is lost for words, and he goes to assist with the rocket launch. (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...straighter than any of its predecessors, and travels high into the sky. The next three rockets, Auks XVII to XIX, are equally impressive—they “steer” well, and fly very high. Quentin calculates... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...where they find Jim sourly watching TV. Jim insults them for wasting their time on rockets, and Quentin shoots back that Jim is only jealous of their success. The BCMA quickly... (full context)
Chapter 15: The State Troopers
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...are all good math students. Hartsfield seems somewhat sympathetic to the BCMA’s goals of mastering rocketry, but he sadly explains that they’ll never succeed in lobbying for a calculus class—Big Creek... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...metal tube and demand to know if they recognize it. Homer tells the truth: the rocket isn’t one of his, though it’s beautifully designed. Turner and the officers refuse to believe... (full context)
Chapter 16: A Natural Arrogance: Auk XX
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...to study calculus at all. In response, Homer begs his father to come watch his rocket launches at Cape Coalwood. He further accuses Homer Sr. of paying more attention to Jim... (full context)
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Ferro calls Homer, asking him how he’d like to position the nozzle on his latest rocket. Homer calls him back later, explaining that the nozzle must be built for lightness and... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...after his phone call, Homer bikes over to Ferro’s store, where he finds a three-foot rocket waiting for him. Mr. Caton has designed the rocket with special fins attached to the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer shows the new rocket to Quentin. Quentin is impressed but worried by the additions Mr. Caton has made—he argues... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The narrative skips ahead to the next rocket launch. Auk XX launches normally, but before it’s gotten 500 feet in the air, it... (full context)
Chapter 17: Valentine
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Sherman calls Homer and tells him that it’s time to take a short break from rocketry—the BCMA needs to go to Ed Johnson’s “Dugout,” which is in the basement of a... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Bump
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...to the mines, and wouldn’t have been injured. Doc insists that Mr. Bykovski built Homer’s rockets because he wanted Homer to be happy. Doc warns that if he ever sees Homer... (full context)
Chapter 19: Picking Up and Going On: Auk XXI
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
One day, Mr. Ferro asks Homer if he’ll be launching a new rocket soon, and Homer replies that he’s not making any more rockets. Homer decides to go... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...hears Jim say, “what a dope.” Miss Riley asks Homer why he’s not working on rockets anymore, and Homer replies that there’s no point. Miss Riley refuses to give up on... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Bykovski yells that her husband would have loved nothing more than seeing Homer launch more rockets. (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Three weeks after Mr. Bykovski’s death, Homer organizes another rocket launching—he’s taken Mrs. Bykovski’s advice to heart. Nevertheless, he looks at his life in Coalwood... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...with Quentin to perfect the De Laval equations and build a satisfactory nozzle for the rocket. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...three dozen Coalwoodians present for the launch, including Mr. Dubonnet and Basil. Even before the rocket fires, Homer knows that it will be a huge success, and it is. Auk XXI... (full context)
Chapter 21: Zincoshine: Auks XXII, A, B, C, and D
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The school year begins in the fall, and the BCMA proceeds with its rocketry. As Homer works, he visits the Reverend Richard, who tells Homer that he had a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
As these disturbing changes come to Coalwood, Homer continuers with his rocketry. He mixes moonshine, zinc, and sulfur, and gets a thick, clay-like substance. He dries the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA announces its next rocket launch: Auk XXII-A. More than 200 people show up for the launch. There, Auk XXII-A... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA’s next step is to perfect the nozzle equations necessary to make their rockets more efficient. Thus will require measuring the rocket’s thrust. In order to do so, the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...BCMA next tries to measure thrust using Elsie’s bathroom scale. They manage to attach the rocket to the spring in the scale, and measure the “weight” of the rocket’s movement in... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA launches their Auk rocket. It flies straight up, but Homer’s small fins turn out to be a mistake—the rocket... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...and launchpad. Homer Sr. reasons that Homer has broken his end of the bargain—he’s sent rockets into Coalwood, even though he promised to never do so again. Homer Sr. gently advises... (full context)
Chapter 22: We Do the Math: Auks XXII-XXIV
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA prepares for Auk XXIII: the first rocket based on the group’s lessons from Mr. Hartsfield’s class, Quentin’s calculus knowledge, and the group’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Quentin and Homer calculate that their rockets have attained speeds of 545.45 miles per hour—incredibly fast, but still short of the speed... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...reaches his answers: he’s calculated the precise shape and angle necessary to give the BCMA’s rockets the maximum thrust and efficiency. (full context)
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...fair, Homer sends his designs to Mr. Ferro and asks him to build the corresponding rocket. He spends long hours on the phone communicating with Mr. Ferro and Mr. Caton about... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
In late November, the BCMA conducts its first major test of the new rocket. They load their rocket with zinc fuel, drying it for hours and hours. Meanwhile, Homer... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...three hundred people show up at Cape Coalwood to watch the BCMA launch their latest rocket. They launch it, counting the seconds it remains in the air in order to determine... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA tracks down the remains of their rocket to investigate what went wrong. This leads them to a glade full of a strange... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA’s next rocket launch is scheduled for the same day as the Christmas formal. Only Roy Lee has... (full context)
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
When Sherman and Homer crawl toward the rocket, they see that Homer was right: the nozzle is blocked, and the wire fuse is... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer lights the fuse, and the rocket launches instantly. Homer and Sherman are unharmed—and Homer calculates the rocket’s height in his head:... (full context)
Chapter 23: Science Fairs
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...calls Homer and tells him that he’s no longer able to help Homer with his rockets—the union is officially on strike. Mr. Caton hasn’t finished Homer’s latest design—the Auk XXV, along... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer is desperate to finish his rocket designs, so he and the BCMA hatch a daring plan. In the middle of the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...Pooky’s son, chases him, and Homer swings the heavy sack containing the nozzles and other rocket parts at his attacker. The sack slips out of Homer’s hands and sails into the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Homer yells at Calvin for making him lose his rocket parts. Calvin looks confused, and mutters that he “just wanted to talk” to Homer, and... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...of the BCMA in his car. Homer is carrying his plans and equations for the rocket, along with all his rocket parts. Miss Riley is unable to attend. At the fair,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Homer a number of technical questions about his nozzles and equations. Homer boasts that his rocket can attain a height of three miles. Strangely, the judges seem unimpressed—they comment that Homer’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...When they return, they’re astounded to discover that they’ve been awarded first prize for their rocketry—the BCMA will be moving on to the state science fair finals. Homer is overjoyed, and... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The BCMA schedules a celebratory rocket launch on the day of the senior prom. There is a healthy crowd at the... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Field of Propulsion.” The Air Force representative, an experienced major, tells the boys that their rockets are the most sophisticated he’s seen outside of Cape Canaveral. (full context)
Chapter 25: The National Science Fair
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...him charts and diagrams on nozzle functions. O’Dell prepares a beautiful case for the BCMA’s rocket parts, and Sherman and Billy photograph Cape Coalwood to make Homer’s presentation more visually interesting. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...surveys his competition. He’s initially afraid because a team from Texas is also presenting on rocket propulsion, but he’s relieved when he sees that none of their designs rival the BCMA’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...that his project draws a big crowd, but Orville warns that this means nothing by itself—rockets are inherently popular. On the second night of the competition, Orville and Homer join the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...of the fair, Homer passes through the exhibition hall and is shocked to find his rocket parts missing. Homer complains to the security guard, who tells Homer that he’s in a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...no other option, Homer calls his home. He explains to Elsie that he needs extra rocket parts, immediately. Elsie explains to Homer that this will be impossible—Homer Sr. is busy with... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...next morning, Homer rushes to the train station, where he finds a box with extra rocket parts. Hugely relieved, Homer prepares for the judges’ assessments. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...That morning, Orville gives him some surprising news: while Homer was frantically looking for his rocket parts, Orville and the other competitors told the judges panel that if Homer wasn’t given... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...argues, Homer must take pleasure in his life, and continue to pursue his dreams of rocketry and engineering. Homer confesses to Jake that he’s afraid of his future. Jake only laughs,... (full context)
Chapter 26: All Systems Go: Auks XXVI-XXXI (June 4, 1960)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...that he needed to work in the machine shop to print more of the necessary rocket parts. In the ensuing fight, Homer Sr. was forced to give in to the union.... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...about to begin, the BCMA decides to say goodbye in style, by launching their remaining rockets into the sky. Quentin proposes that they should launch the rockets from above the ground,... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
On the first Saturday in June of 1960—the day of the final rocket launch—Homer is sad to see Homer Sr. walk to the mine for his usual schedule... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...wowing the crowd. Finally, Homer announces the launch of Auk XXXI, the final and largest rocket. Inside is the same nozzle that Dr. von Braun praised at the science fair. Just... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...the sky with a thunderous burst. Homer and the BCMA watch in awe as their rocket attains a height of more than six miles, and continues shooting up—to the point where... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer turns to his father. Homer Sr. is beaming—he praises the rocket for being “beautiful.” Suddenly, he begins to cough, and bends over, as though in pain.... (full context)
Epilogue
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...Inside, he was amazed to find his old science fair prizes, along with a beautiful rocket nozzle. (full context)